"Now, more than ever, we need positive and effective voices in Lansing.
As a teacher and county commissioner, I know that we can build
strong communities, support working families, and invest in our children’s future. I promise that I will fight tirelessly for
a Michigan that works for everyone. " - Jason
Strengthen Public Schools - Ensure every student, teacher, and parent has the resources needed to succeed.
As a community college instructor, university trustee, and former college administrator, I have had the opportunity to see higher education from all sides. I have seen through my years of experience that we can absolutely do better. We must do better. We have a choice when it comes to providing education for Michigan residents. We can choose to continue the decades of disinvestment in public education, or we can choose to prioritize students and teachers. I believe in a Michigan that provides equitable funding to K-12 schools, free community college, and that significantly greater investment in our world-class universities.
Protect Michigan's Natural Resources - Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water
I support investing in our infrastructure and neighborhoods to get us to carbon-neutral and ensure long-term resilience for Michigan. From cleaning up PFAS to the Gelman Dioxane Plume, we have a lot of work to do here in our community and throughout the state. I was proud to help lead the Board of Commissioners in declaring an ambitious goal of achieving a carbon-neutral county by 2030 and establishing the first-ever Environmental Council to develop a Climate Action plan to achieve that goal.
We need to pass comprehensive polluter-pay legislation, to make sure that those who pollute our beautiful natural resources pay to clean up their mess. I'll also work to hold them accountable for their actions and do everything possible to prevent anyone from harming our natural environment and the health of Michigan residents.
Quality Healthcare for All
It will be my mission to ensure high-quality and affordable access to healthcare so that every Michigander gets the care they need. While we continue working toward universal access in the United States, we need, at the very least, a reliable public option. The State of Colorado showed us a model for making this possible just last year, in 2021. Ensuring healthcare is not an issue of whether it is possible, it is an issue of whether we are willing. We can lower costs for residents, businesses, and local governments while improving care and health outcomes.
Providing healthcare is not enough when it comes to protecting our health these days, with the coronavirus pandemic showing us how vital county public health departments are to our communities and state. I plan to work to dramatically increase state support for public health, mental health, and other critically-needed human services for our residents. We know too well here in Washtenaw, Wayne, and Oakland Counties how economic and racial inequality can lead to significant health disparities. I will seek to take meaningful action to reduce these inequities here in our community and across Michigan.
Invest in Modern Infrastructure - Roads, bridges, water, and broadband internet
Our roads, bridges, water systems, and internet access impact residents every day. We must maintain our roads, sidewalks, and drainage systems while protecting our parks, water, and open spaces. Our community is enriched by the Huron River, a robust parks system, and beautiful natural spaces which provide for recreation and a healthier natural environment. We must maintain and invest in the health and sustainability of these resources.
I am committed to finding creative solutions to fund projects to repair our bridges, roads, water systems, and ensure safety. Furthermore, it is time to start planning ahead to create a shared vision for how to build our infrastructure to last and withstand the impacts of our changing environment.
Defend Our Fundamental Rights - Protecting access to Democracy and our right to vote
We must fight back against efforts to undermine the will of the people and protect the right of every Michigander to vote. Michigan saw its largest ever voter turnout in 2020. Efforts by some groups to allege fraud have been refuted time and again by legislative committees, judges in multiple cases, and investigations by reporters. Michigan legislators have introduced more than 39 bills seeking to roll back these rights. This effort comes on the heels of a historically successful election, where more than 5.5 million Michiganders exercised their constitutional right to vote — the most ever and the highest percentage of voting-age residents to cast a ballot in 60 years. Our elected officials have a duty to listen to the voices of the voters who put them in office by standing up for the will of the people, above all else.
Advancing Social Justice & LGBTQ Rights
We have been making great strides under Governor Whitmer's leadership toward a more equitable and pro-equality future, but we have a long way to go. Legislatively, Michigan is decades behind when it comes to protections for our LGBTQ+ community, particularly our transgender residents, and reproductive rights. I've been very proud to help lead our county effort to recognize Transgender Day of Visibility and Pride month each year, and to introduce the county's first-ever Equity and Inclusion Statement, and Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.
We've also barely scratched the surface in unraveling centuries of inequitable and in many cases racist policies in our state. Here in Washtenaw County, we've taken great care to establish an office of racial equity, gather data, and start ensuring a more equitable community. I plan to work with Representative Brabec to do just as we've done together here in Washtenaw County, and work to pass legislation to make our state a better place to live for all Michiganders, working to make our basic needs more equitable, from housing, employment, and more.
It will be my mission to protect reproductive rights. Reproductive care is healthcare, and should be made between an individual and their doctor, not by the government. I promise to fight for legislation that ensures that the right to an abortion—that the right to choose one’s own health outcome—is not lost in Michigan following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade. I will work to repeal the 1930s Michigan law currently on the books that bans abortion, and to ensure that women’s health clinics stay open to provide care in the event of any attempt to prevent providers from giving care.
We need to elect candidates to Lansing who believe in a Michigan with safe and legal abortion access for all, and will commit to codifying legal abortion for all Michiganders. We need to get to work—plain and simple. I promise to be on the front lines alongside you, fighting each and every day to ensure we elect pro-choice, pro-reproductive freedom candidates from districts across the state.
Common Sense Gun Safety
For too long, the State Legislature has failed to take the issue of gun violence seriously. After Oxford, I was hopeful that legislators would come together to pass the common-sense gun legislation that we desperately need. I was wrong. Despite recent, albeit limited, Congressional action, Michigan has a long way to go in ensuring residents are safe from gun violence. We still need to expand and strengthen background checks. We still need to pass red flag legislation. We still need better gun storage laws. Despite all of the mass shootings this year, despite Sandy Hook, despite Las Vegas, despite Orlando, despite Charleston, despite Columbine, we still have not made anywhere near enough progress. It is way past time for that to change.
In Lansing, I promise that I will relentlessly push for common-sense gun reform so that Americans do not needlessly live with the threat of gun violence hanging over their heads. I believe we can enact meaningful gun reform that allows responsible gun owners to continue to own and possess firearms without government interference while ensuring that guns do not fall into the hands of those who intend to cause harm to our community.
Protecting Worker Rights & Economic Justice
As a proud union member, I understand that unions strengthen our workforce, our families, and our quality of life in America. I will work to strengthen our local economy by creating livable wage jobs. We must support the growth of local businesses and attract new companies and employers. As a proud union member, I know that we must also support, strengthen and partner with our labor unions to improve wages and working conditions. As part of this strategy, we must invest in education and job training. Working together through cooperative partnerships between government, businesses, labor, and nonprofits is key to ensuring the success of our region.
I will stand firm to protect the rights of working people and our rights to collective bargaining. As the son of a laborer and former union member, I know how important our unions are, not just to members but to all working people. I will also seek to work closely with and support our local labor unions, which serve a vital role in representing and advocating for workers and families throughout our community.